Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Why does a star agree to postpone the release of his film when another star requests him to do so? It is said that stars are in cut-throat competition with one another. | 14 February, 2020

Why does a star agree to postpone the release of his film when another star requests him to do so? It is said that stars are in cut-throat competition with one another.

– Stars do compete with one another but that does not mean that they are not considerate towards one another. It all depends on the relationship shared between two stars and it is also about how convincing the request for the postponement is. Like, for instance, Akshay Kumar agreed to postpone BACHCHAN PANDEY when Aamir Khan asked him for the favour to not clash with LAAL SINGH CHADDHA.

Why would a filmmaker use the same title for his new film as that of his old film? I’m talking about Imtiaz Ali’s Love Aaj Kal.

– Perhaps, because he couldn’t find a more appropriate title than LOVE AAJ KAL. Imtiaz probably wanted to use the goodwill attached to that title as his earlier film with this title was a hit and it has great recall value. But yes, not many filmmakers would do what Imtiaz Ali has done – and that too, so quickly. His first LOVE AAJ KAL was released in 2009 while the new one has come just eleven years after that.

Do stars lead more insecure lives nowadays as compared to, say, the 1980s? After all, most of them are working in just one film or two films at any given time as against the six, seven or more films they used to work in simultaneously back then.

– Stars of today are more confident than those of yesteryears. Also, most of the established stars are doing well-paying endorsements and always have a couple of film projects lined up to start once the current one/s is/are complete. So they may be working in one film or two films at a time but they are committed to doing a couple of more films, besides the one on the floors. Also, since the avenues of revenue for films are more today, many star cast films prove to be profitable ventures even if their box-office returns are not upto the mark. All of these factors take care of the insecurity that could creep in had the conditions been different.

Of the February releases, which films seem to be hot among the public? | 7 February, 2020

Of the February releases, which films seem to be hot among the public?

– LOVE AAJ KAL for its casting, director and title value, and SHUBH MANGAL ZYADA SAAVDHAN for its bold subject and for Ayushmann Khurrana.

We’ve had gay characters in films earlier but the hero playing a gay? Do you think, Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan with Ayushmann Khurrana in a gay relationship, can be accepted by the public?

– Times have changed. What was taboo for a film subject years ago is accepted by the paying public nowadays. There’s no reason why SHUBH MANGAL ZYADA SAAVDHAN should not be accepted merely because of the bold subject.

Who is the most saleable in the cast of Malang?

– None of the heroes of MALANG is saleable on his own. Neither Anil Kapoor nor Aditya Roy Kapur nor Kunal Kemmu individually can draw in the audiences as they’ve never been heroes whose films (solo starrers) have commanded initial.


Why did STREET DANCER 3D not open at Rs. 12 to 14 crore? It was the general impression in the trade that the film would net around Rs. 14 crore on the first day. | 31 January, 2020

Why did Street Dancer 3D not open at Rs. 12 to 14 crore? It was the general impression in the trade that the film would net around Rs. 14 crore on the first day.

– Had it been titled ABCD – ANY BODY CAN DANCE 3, it would’ve opened at Rs. 14 crore. The trade estimated this figure under the assumption that the public would throng the cinemas as if it were ABCD 3. But the fact is, the public did not consider it as a film of the popular ABCD franchise. Hence the loyal fan base of ABCD did not rush to the cinemas to watch it on the first day.

Which is the costliest film being made in Bollywood?

–Perhaps, BRAHMASTRA, being produced by Karan Johar and directed by Ayan Mukerji. Ronnie Screwvala and Aditya Dhar have also announced ASHWATHAMA THE IMMORTAL with Vicky Kaushal in the lead role. That is touted to be one of the costliest films being made in Bollywood.

First, Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior, then Bhuj: The Pride Of India and followed by Maidaan. Is Ajay Devgan concentrating on real stories only?

– Yes, while TANHAJI: THE UNSUNG WARRIOR is a historical, BHUJ: THE PRIDE OF INDIA and MAIDAAN are based on stories of two real people.

Which, according to you, will be the biggest blockbuster of this year? | 24 January, 2020

Which, according to you, will be the biggest blockbuster of this year?

– Difficult to say but one can bet on LAAL SINGH CHADDHA, SOORYAVANSHI and ’83. Of course, any film could prove the biggest blockbuster. One can get that feel closer to a film’s release. What’s more, it is extremely difficult to predict before watching a film’s trailer or listening to its music. But the aforementioned three films come to mind instantly because of their subjects, track record of their stars and makers.

What, according to you, is Akshay Kumar doing so right that his films are so successful?

– He is selecting the right mix of films. He chooses his films very intelligently. Ayushmann Khurrana is doing the same. Another actor who does multiple films every year and seems to have a good line-up is Ajay Devgan. They could emerge as the stars of 2020.

Don’t you think, Salman Khan should concentrate on acting and leave the job of scripting to his writers rather than joining them as a co-writer?

– Definitely, he should do that because he is a far better charmer on screen than a writer off screen. Wonder, why his writer-dad, Salim Khan, doesn’t tell him to not indulge in writing. Or maybe, he must be telling him so, but Salman may not be heeding the advice. It becomes very difficult for any star to be convinced easily, especially if he is being told that he is wrong.

Will the backlash which Deepika Padukone got for visiting the JNU students in Delhi last week adversely affect her next film? | 17 January, 2020

Will the backlash which Deepika Padukone got for visiting the JNU students in Delhi last week adversely affect her next film?

– Not likely. Public memory is short!

Will Street Dancer 3D open well?

– It will open extremely well. The trailers have been loved. The film has dance, India-Pakistan track and 3D as its major selling points, besides the cast, of course.

What are the under-production reports of Sooryavanshi?

– It is directed by Rohit Shetty and it stars Akshay Kumar. The reports can’t be anything but excellent.

Why was the opening of both the films of this week in North India not upto the mark? | 10 January, 2020

Why was the opening of both the films of this week in North India not upto the mark?

– The initial of both, TANHAJI: THE UNSUNG WARRIOR and CHHAPAAK, was below the mark because of extreme cold. People generally refrain from going to the cinemas in extremely cold weather and prefer to wait for the latter shows rather than the early morning shows.

Like this week, there will again be a clash of two films — Street Dancer 3D and Panga — on 24th January. What do you have to say about that?

– What can anyone say? This is a regular feature. With so many films being made, such clashes are bound to happen in many weeks. But the similarity in the clash of this week and that of the week beginning 24th January is that while one film is a big-budgeted 3D film, the other is a woman-centric film with a more controlled budget.

Has the controversy around Chhapaak helped the film on the first day?

– It has helped only marginally. Every controversy does not help the film involved in the controversy. Also, every film does not gain in the same way from controversies. In short, it varies from film to film and from controversy to controversy.

When it is well-known that the first week of January is jinxed, why do producers release their films in that week? | 3 January, 2019

When it is well-known that the first week of January is jinxed, why do producers release their films in that week?

– The first week of January may be a jinxed week because producers are wary of releasing their big films in that week. Some big films should release in the first week for us to know conclusively if it is a jinxed week. The films which are released every year in the first week are so bad that they’d flop even if released some other time of the year. So why blame the first week of January?

Which film of 2020 would you bet your last shirt on?

– Aamir Khan’s LAAL SINGH CHADDHA, being directed by Advait Chandan, and Kabir Khan’s 83, starring Ranveer Singh.

Will Shah Rukh Khan have a film release this year?

– I guess so. He hasn’t announced anything so far but he must be planning it all the same.

TANHAJI: THE UNSUNG WARRIOR and CHHAPAAK will release on the same day, 10th January, 2020. Likewise, STREET DANCER 3D and PANGA will hit the screens together on 24th January, 2020. Can’t these four films come on four different dates? | 27 December, 2019

Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior and Chhapaak will release on the same day, 10th January, 2020. Likewise, Street Dancer 3D and Panga will hit the screens together on 24th January, 2020. Can’t these four films come on four different dates?

– There are 52 weeks in a year but the number of films made every year is far more than that. So this kind of a clash is inevitable.

Now that the year is coming to an end, how would you describe 2019?

– It’s been a great year for content-driven cinema. But that doesn’t mean, stars have had it tough. Even star-studded films have worked at the turnstiles. But only star power, without content did not work!

Who is the actor who has contributed the maximum to the box-office in 2019?

– Undoubtedly, Akshay Kumar who had four successful releases — KESARI, MISSION MANGAL, HOUSEFULL 4 and GOOD NEWWZ.

Why was the opening of DABANGG 3 not extraordinary today? | 20 December, 2019

Why was the opening of Dabangg 3 not extraordinary today (20th December)?

– There are several reasons for it. The music was not as good as it should’ve been. Therefore and even otherwise, the buzz for the film was not great. Thirdly, the advance booking of the film was not extraordinary and, therefore, the start couldn’t be extraordinary. The agitations against the Citizenship Amendment Act in different parts of the country and extreme cold in North India also played their parts in adversely affecting the initial of the film.

What kind of an initial do you predict for Good Newwz next week?

– The initial will be very good because both the trailers of the film have been extremely well accepted by the audience. Its music is also of the popular variety.

If Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior and Street Dancer 3D score, will it start a trend of 3D films?

– Yes, it could inspire more filmmakers to make 3D films.


Are the producers of CHHAPAAK right in going ahead with the release plan on 10th January, 2020? | 12 December, 2019

Are the producers of Chhapaak right in going ahead with the release plan on 10th January, 2019?

— Yes, they are justified in going ahead with their original release plan despite the fact that a big-budget TANHAJI: THE UNSUNG WARRIOR is hitting the screens on the same day. After watching the first trailer of CHHAPAAK, you realise that this may well be another content-driven film.

A big Kannada film like Avane Srimannarayana is slated for release on 27th December and it has been dubbed in Hindi too. Since the Hindi dubbed version will release simultaneously, why is it not being promoted in the Hindi-speaking regions as it is being promoted in the Kannada-speaking region?

— It’s rather unfortunate that not much attention is being paid by the producers and distributors to the promotion of the dubbed version which is titled ADVENTURES OF SRIMANNARAYANA. This is the case with most of the dubbed films released. The fact that nowadays, they often hit the screens on the same day as the original versions, should be enough reason for the producers to promote the dubbed version also with the same vigour and enthusiasm.

What will be the extent of loss to the producers of Panipat?

— The monetary loss will be huge, probably to the tune of Rs. 30-35 crore. There’s also the loss of reputation for having gone so drastically wrong in such a big-budget, star-cast film.